Faculty of Education

Graduate Diploma of Education: Frequently Asked Questions


Q1: What is the closing date for application to the Graduate Diploma in Education and where do I apply?

A: Domestic students will be able to apply online. For more information:

Review the Graduate Diploma how to apply information for closing dates, for:

Australian students

International students

Late applications are available from the Faculty. Please note that places are limited so applications will be only accepted until the quota is reached.

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Q2: What is the selection process for entry to the Graduate Diploma in Education?

A: Selection is competitive and is based on academic merit, relevance of the undergraduate degree and a personal statement outlining why you want to be a teacher.

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Q3: When does the course commence?

A: Semester 2 2015, 13th July (part-time study mode only)

A: Semester 1 2016, 29 February

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Q4: Do I have to pay fees up-front?

A: This is a Commonwealth supported course for citizens of Australia, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens and holders of humanitarian visas. As part of a Commonwealth initiative to support teachers, from 2010 students who graduate from pre-service teaching courses and who subsequently take up teaching, will have their HECS-HELP debt repayments reduced.

Australian citizens, and holders of humanitarian visas who are resident in Australia for the duration of the course, may defer their payment via HECS-HELP.

Permanent residents and New Zealand citizens must pay up-front for the units in which they are enrolled each semester.

Further fee information.

International students should review the international fees or contact the International Centre for further information.

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Q5: Which teaching majors and minors are available?


A: The major areas of study offered in our program are:

  • Art,
  • English,
  • Information and Communication Technology,
  • LOTE (Languages Other Than English) - French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese,
  • Mathematics,
  • Music,
  • Science (Physical or Biological),
  • Society & Environment - History, Geography, Economics, Politics,
  • Physical Education/Health,
  • TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and
  • School Psychology.

The minor teaching areas offered are:

  • Art,
  • English,
  • LOTE (Languages Other Than English)- French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese,
  • Mathematics,
  • Science,
  • Society & Environment, and
  • TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

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Q6: What are the prerequisites for a major teaching area?

A: You must have a degree with a major in the subject you wish to teach and this subject must be found in the school curriculum. The major in your degree is defined as at least 6 semester units of study in the discipline with at least two of those units studied at third year university level. For example, if you wish to be an English teacher you need a degree with at least 6 units in English and two of those must have been studied at third year level. The major teaching area will prepare you to teach students in years 8 to 12.

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Q7: What are the pre-requisites for School Psychology?

A: The prerequisite for School Psychology is a four-year degree in psychology.

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Q8: What are the pre-requisites for a minor teaching area?

A: The prerequisite for the minor is four semester units of study with at least two units studied at second year university level. The minor teaching area must be in a different discipline from your major area. For example, six units of physics and four units of chemistry are both science subjects and therefore do not constitute a major and a minor. Six units of physics and four of mathematics do constitute a major and a minor. The minor teaching area will prepare you to teach students in years 8 to 10.

If you do not have a second discipline area in your degree then you may choose one of three areas of interest for which there is no prerequisite. These are:

  • Information and Communication Technology,
  • Special Education, and
  • Career Development.
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Q9: Will I be eligible for the Graduate Diploma in Education if I have a commerce degree?

A: Unless you have a subject found in the school curriculum (such as economics) in your commerce degree then you will not be eligible for the course. While accounting is offered in years 11 and 12 we do not offer an accounting major at UWA. This is because our graduates are required to have a teaching major in a subject found in the curriculum from years 8 to 12, since most teachers are primarily appointed to schools on the basis of their ability to teach in years 8 to 10. Since accounting is only offered in years 11 and 12 it is not a suitable teaching major.

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Q10: If I don’t meet the prerequisite for a particular teaching major what can I do to qualify?

A: If you have a degree with some relevant units, but do not have third year units in the subject you wish to teach, then you can enrol in two third year units ‘not for degree’. At UWA this can be done through University Extension. These additional units must be completed before you apply for a place in the Graduate Diploma in Education. They may not be studied concurrently.

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Q11: How many weeks of teaching practice are there?

A: Review the teaching practice timetable for the specific dates of teaching practice. During this period of time full-time attendance in school is a requirement. 

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Q12: How long does it take to complete the Graduate Diploma in Education?

A: This is a one year full-time course completed after a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. It is also available part-time over two years. Please note that part-time does not mean after hours. Most of the program is delivered between 9 am and 4 pm, with only a few units available after 4 pm.

Mid-year commencing students will complete the course over 18 months part-time.

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Q13: What will I be qualified for once I have completed the degree?

A: You will be eligible for registration with the Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia and qualified to teach in secondary schools in Australia and overseas.

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Q14: Is the workload heavy?

A: While the workload is not unlike that of a graduate teacher, it is heavier than in a typical undergraduate academic year. The contact time for a full-time enrolment in Semester 1 is approximately 15 hours, and 10 hours in Semester 2. Part-time contact hours depend on the number of units in which you are enrolled. Prospective students should note that there is a great deal of out-of-class work to be done in preparation for workshops, seminars and assessment tasks.

Students who suffer from an illness or condition which may be exacerbated by stress should consider their options carefully and discuss their particular circumstances with the Director of Teaching. While the staff of the University can offer support, it is important that you can manage the condition during the School Experience.

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Q15: Can I work full-time and study full-time?

A: Prospective students should note that the Graduate Diploma in Education is a 60 point course which means it carries a 25% overload above a normal academic year (48 points).The lecture schedule is very busy and there is a great deal of out-of-class work to be done in preparation for workshops, seminars and assessment tasks. Since much of this work is focused on preparing you to be effective classroom teachers with responsibility for the learning of your students, it is expected that you will give full attention to the assignment work. It is therefore not possible to work full-time, fulfil your teaching practice responsibilities and successfully complete the course.

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Q16: What is the English Language requirement for applicants whose prior studies have not been completed in Australia?

A: Students who completed their secondary and/or tertiary education in institutions where the tuition was not in English may be required to provide evidence of an IELTS of 7.5.

Prospective students should note that a high standard of English proficiency is required by the Graduate School of Education as pre service teachers will be in school classrooms by week seven of the course and must be able to communicate effectively and professionally.

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Q17: What units should I study to be a qualified Special Education teacher?

The Department of Education and Training recognises the combination of Special Education Curriculum, Inclusive Classrooms, Behaviour Management and Learning Difficulties as preparation for appointment to a Special Education Centre.

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Q18: When are the non-teaching periods?

The academic timetable for the Graduate Diploma in Education is very different from the undergraduate program as we need to align more closely with the school year in order to accommodate the two blocks of School Experience. You will have three two-week vacation periods which generally occur in mid April (same as school holidays), early July (one week overlap with the school holidays) and early October (same as school holidays). This means that you should not book an extended holiday in the middle of the year.

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Q19: Where can I find further information regarding the course

A: Further information about the course is available on Graduate Diploma in Education page.

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Q20. Where can I find information on clearances for professional practice?

A: A professional practice checklist has been prepared for you to review including details on prerequisite clearances information. Pre-service teachers are not permitted to participate in professional practice without a National Police History Check (NPHC) through the Department of Education (DoE) and a Working with Children Check (WWCC).

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Q21: When is the Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) going to be phased out at the University of Western Australia (UWA)?

A: UWA will continue to offer the Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) in 2016 but at this stage it is expected to be phased out by 2017, dependant on National strategies which will enforce teaching qualifications to require a completion of 5 years of higher education. UWA will still be able to offer teaching qualification to students with a three year undergraduate Bachelor's degree with the current Master of Teaching (Secondary) course.

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